After the scan, you can resume normal activities immediately. But if you have had a sedative, a friend or relative will need to take you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours. It's not safe to drive, operate heavy machinery or drink alcohol for 24 hours after having a sedative.
If you have had an injection of MRI contrast medium during your procedure, you are required to remain in the department for 30 minutes after the injection, and not to leave the hospital or drive for an hour following the procedure.
Unless you were given a sedative, you can resume your daily activities! After an MRI, you will be able to walk around, drive, or even go back to work. An MRI is nothing to be nervous about. It will only give a better diagnosis and help your doctors provide the care you need.
Since the MRI machines are magnets, it is best to not apply deodorants, antiperspirants, perfumes, or body lotions before the examination. These items contain metals that might interfere with the magnetic field inside the MRI machine and cause you to have distorted images and wrong results.
How long does an MRI scan take? A single scan may take a few seconds or 3 to 8 minutes. You may be asked to hold your breath during short scans. The total scan lasts 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many images are needed.
It's important that patients remove all clothing prior to their MRI exam. We ask patients to remove: All outer clothing, including shoes. Bras or any undergarment that could have metal in it.
You will be asked to remove any clothing containing metal and all jewelry. You will be provided metal free clothing to change into such as gown, shorts or pants. Lockers are available to safely store all personal items such as wallet, purse, keys, phone and other electronic devices.
You will not be able to have breakfast the morning of your surgery. You can brush your teeth in the morning, just be sure to spit the water out!
Second degree burns are the most commonly reported patient problem. Other reported problems include injuries from projectile events (objects being drawn toward the MRI scanner), crushed and pinched fingers from the patient table, patient falls, and hearing loss or a ringing in the ear (tinnitus).
Doctors say you should not drink alcohol or caffeine before an MRI scan! Of course, it is because alcohol & caffeine are both stimulators of blood pressure & flow. When such a thing happens, you are likely to get false MRI images!
The MRI personnel will ask you many questions to determine if you can safely be imaged. You will also be asked you weight and height. This information will allow the pulse sequence to adhere to the specific absorption rate (SAR) limitations described in Chapter 9, and the proper choice of imaging hardware.
There aren't any side-effects from the MRI scan itself. However, if you've had an injection of contrast medium (dye) as part of the investigation, you may have some side-effects which might include a skin rash, dizziness, a headache, and nausea.
Generally, MRIs under anesthesia are performed under sedation, although sometimes they are performed under general anesthesia. Sedation is characterized as being in a state between relaxed and very sleepy, but not quite unconscious.
Before the exam you will be asked to drink approximately 1 liter (3 bottles) of a liquid called Volumen. This will help distend the bowel so it can be better visualized during the MRI. During the exam you will be given an injection of contrast fluid called gadolinium.
If you had intravenous contrast, you should drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day to help flush the contrast out of your body. Your doctor will receive the results within 48 hours.
Preparing for an MRI of your back or spine is the same as the way you would prepare for any other MRI. You can eat, drink, and medicate normally before your appointment unless your doctor has scheduled you for an MRI with contrast.
The MRI scan is used to investigate or diagnose conditions that affect soft tissue, such as: Tumours, including cancer. Soft tissue injuries such as damaged ligaments. Joint injury or disease.
What are MRIs and CT scans? A CT scan is like a series of X-rays taken very quickly in a circle around you. When combined and looked at together, they provide a detailed, three-dimensional image of your body. MRIs use a large, powerful magnet and radio waves to create a similar picture.
MRI is a highly controlled environment, which requires screened access by a highly trained professional. MRI could be extremely dangerous for patients with some metals and medical devices inside their bodies. MRI has been successfully performed for many years now on millions of patients worldwide.
Can a subject wear deodorant for an MRI scan? It is recommended to refrain from wearing any powder, perfumes, deodorant and/or lotions on your underarms and chest area prior to the procedure. This is to prevent the possibility of localized burns because these items may have metal in them.
Consider Avoiding the Bathroom for Several Hours Prior to the Scan. If you have to go to the bathroom, then go to the bathroom. On the other hand, do not go to the bathroom unless you must. There is a chance that you may be asked to drink some contrast material before the scan.
The radiologist may discuss initial results of the MRI with you right after the test. Complete results are usually ready for your doctor in 1 to 2 days. An MRI can sometimes find a problem in a tissue or organ even when the size and shape of the tissue or organ looks normal.
For women, if possible, do not wear an underwire bra (the metal can throw off the magnetic field). Sports bras are usually good and we have hospital gowns to change into if necessary. The clasps on the back of a regular bra are not a problem, but avoid wearing bras that have metal parts on the straps.
Be sure to wear clothing that does not have any metal in it (zippers, buttons, etc.). If your clothes do have metal in them, you'll be given a hospital gown to change into for your scan. Normally you can wear your underwear and socks during the scan, unless your radiologist is concerned about metal microfibers.
Things to remember
Unless you're told otherwise, you can shower and wash your hair the morning of your MRI. Don't use any hair products (such as hair spray or hair gel). Don't wear any metal objects. Remove all jewelry, including body piercings.